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Chinese Order Some Soy; Long-Term Damage to U.S. Ag Trade Remains

I learn from KELO Radio that the Chinese say they have ordered “several million tonnes of soybeans” this month… for which they expect tariff exemptions:

The United States has shipped several million tonnes of soybeans to China since the two countries’ leaders met in June, Chinese state media said on Sunday, an apparent sign of goodwill before trade talks in Shanghai this week.

…China has made enquiries to U.S. suppliers for the purchase of soybeans, cotton, pork sorghum and other agricultural products since July 19, and some sales have been made, state broadcaster CCTV said, citing China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce.

“As long as the American agricultural products are reasonably priced and of good quality, it is expected that there will be new purchases,” the report said.

Companies involved in the sales have applied for exclusions to tariffs on agricultural goods with Chinese customs officials, it said [Cate Cadell, “Beijing Says Millions of Tonnes of U.S. Soy Shipped to China in Trade Consensus,” Reuters, 2019.07.28].

Hooray—maybe now Governor Kristi Noem can add China back to the list of Asian markets where Aberdeen’s AGP can ship all of our soybeans.

But don’t get your farm hopes too high. As we were warned, Trump’s reckless trade war has led to long-term shifts in markets that will continue to disadvantage American producers, even if we go back to playing nicely with our global trade partners:

But even without the extra tariffs, U.S. soybeans could not compete with Brazilian supplies on price until at least October, based on current premiums and margins, according to six traders and analysts surveyed by Reuters, making immediate orders unlikely.

“It is hard to see buying of large U.S. shipments (for delivery to China) for the time being,” said Li Qiang, chief analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd [Hallie Gu and Shivani Singh, “China’s Soybean Crushers in No Rush to Buy from U.S. Despite Beijing Tariff Offer: Sources,” Reuters, 2019.07.24].

The Chinese have quite logically moved away from the unreliable United States to more reliable trade partners like Brazil and the rest of Latin America:

China has overtaken the United States as Brazil’s biggest trading partner, with Brazilian soybeans – one of the country’s biggest exports – and other agricultural products replacing American imports since the start of the US-China trade war a year ago.

…China is now Latin America’s second-biggest trading partner with bilateral trade at US$307.4 billion, growing 18.9 per cent over the previous year, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce, in a relationship focused on commodity imports, including mining products like copper and energy, as well as soybeans and other agricultural goods [Keegan Elmer, “Latin America Trade Grows as China and US Tussle for Influence,” South China Morning Post, 2019.07.28].

…which means that, instead of getting an upper hand on the Chinese, Donald Trump has actually frittered away out ability to exert pressure on the Chinese:

While the US and China have tentatively agreed to resume talks in Shanghai next week, China and Latin American countries are likely to continue deepening their trade relations as production chains realign in the wake of the trade war, according to Gustavo Oliveira, assistant professor of global and international studies at the University of California, Irvine.

“This means Chinese imports of Latin American agricultural and mineral commodities, and Latin American imports of Chinese manufactured products and hi-tech, might contribute to China’s ability to stand its ground against US pressure,” he said [Elmer, 2019.07.28].

Even if the U.S.–China trade talks that resume this week produce something exceeding the Trump Administration’s lowered expectations, Trump may drop another sandbag on soybean prices by turning his trade-war attention to Europe:

Finally, even if China and U.S. make a deal, the U.S. seems headed into a trade conflict with the European Union. Just last week, the USTR announced that it will start investigating the new French tax on internet companies. In addition, Trump has never been a fan of the European Union. Therefore, there is a likelihood that the U.S. and the European Union will get into a conflict before the next election. The U.S. is the main producer of soybeans to the European Union. It is responsible for 75% (or 10.5 million tons) of all soybean’s exports to the region. In case of a trade war with the EU, the region will likely add more tariffs to the U.S. soybeans, which will depress the prices further [Stella Mwende, “Why the Current Soybeans Rally Could Be Short-Lived,” Seeking Alpha, 2019.07.25].

Keep those USDA farm welfare checks coming. It’s going to be another rough year for farmers, thanks to Donald Trump wrecking our access to global markets.


  1. jerry 2019-07-28 12:12

    Putin remains the guy smiling the most on all of these soybean miscues. Indeed, Russia has ramped up production on its own and now there are Chinese farmers in Russia taking full advantage of the 2.5 million acres in the soybean producing areas of Russia.

    ” “We expect most of the investment to come from China,” he said. “We expect 50 per cent from China, 25 per cent from Russia and 25 per cent from other countries, like Japan and Korea.”
    The announcement means that all of the 3 million hectares of arable land in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District is now available to farmers, Dubrovskiy said, adding that the space is suitable for dairy farming or the growing of crops, such as soybeans, wheat and potatoes.”

    I would suggest growing hemp for South Dakota farmers, but that is to hard when there is election bribery money that can be gotten for growing whine.

  2. Porter Lansing 2019-07-28 13:23

    Am I right? Trump imposed big tariffs on soybeans to China to get China to change. China hasn’t changed but is asking to have tariffs suspended so they can buy soybeans. Thus, China wins and Trump’s policy is an incredibly, big loser.

  3. jerry 2019-07-28 14:09

    trump did get China to change…that is what they will pay for soybeans, pocket change, all things considered. What used to cost China hard currency is now being purchased with subsidy bribery pocket change. My, how the mighty have fallen.

  4. Porter Lansing 2019-07-28 14:17

    Good one, Jerry. :)

  5. Debbo 2019-07-28 19:22

    Just think about how this would be working if Economic Eunuch hadn’t begun by ripping us out of TPT. China would be in dire need of our crops and other exports while we’d be the ones with multiple options for necessary imports. Economic Eunuch totally ruined excellent trade prospects. Such a completely Incompetent Imbecile.

  6. Debbo 2019-07-28 19:22

    Farmer suicides continue at a tragic pace. 🤬🤬🤬

  7. grudznick 2019-07-28 19:41

    I wonder how many South Dakota farmers are driven deeper into despair by being called disrespectful names by out-of-state name-callers who disparage the president they voted for or the state they live in or the party to which they belong because the out-of-state name-callers cannot conduct themselves with the courtesy that the god to which some of them pray would want?

  8. Porter Lansing 2019-07-28 19:59

    grudzie is displaying false, South Dakota, herd mentality, victimhood. “It’s not us people who don’t trust outsiders, it’s the outsiders who are the villians.”, he sputters.

  9. jerry 2019-07-28 22:59

    Ouch, the entire economy is slowing down. When you can take an economy that was doing very well and then juice it with giveaways and it still is in the crapper, say hello to republican economics. Not hard to see how trump couldn’t even make a casino work as this is exactly what he set up with the help of Rounds and Thune..and the governor.

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed sharply in the April-June quarter even as consumers stepped up their spending.

    The gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, grew at a 2.1% annual rate last quarter, down from a 3.1% gain in the first quarter, the Commerce Department estimated Friday.

    But consumer spending, which drives about 70% of economic activity, accelerated to a sizzling 4.3% growth rate after a lackluster 1.1% annual gain in the January-March quarter, boosted in particular by auto sales. The resurgent strength in household spending was offset by a widening of the trade deficit and slower business inventory rebuilding.”

    Hey, I know, more credit. I listen to the car dealers telling us how it doesn’t matter if you have good credit, bad credit or no credit, you can still drive away in a new jalopy. How about that. Drive it and chuck it and get another one.

  10. Clyde 2019-07-29 07:41

    Jerry, I too watched a video in which the Russian was saying that the sanctions against Russia were the best thing that could happen to the country. It had forced the country to pursue a policy of being food self sufficient and they were doing just fine. They won’t be abandoning that plan soon.

    Soooo, once again, the brilliant plan of sanctioning to make someone fall in line, has failed. It sure has done wonders for our farm economy!

  11. Porter Lansing 2019-07-29 08:05

    Clyde not only fears, mistrusts, and denies the Big Three TV Network neutral press, he believes Russian misdirection and deception on face value. He believes Russia enjoys being sanctioned? He doesn’t think Russians will lie to your face and say the opposite of what they really think? Wanna buy a statue on top of a SD mountain, haybilly?

  12. Clyde 2019-07-29 11:21

    Porter, you seem to be out for me and to you I would say, please, open your mind. I don’t believe we have a neutral press and there are many that agree with me. I really don’t believe we EVER have had a neutral press. I remember my folks reading more than one paper when I was young so they could get more than one view on a subject. Now that we have virtually all media owned by, I believe, five big, for profit, company’s we will tend to get the opinions that will make them the most money. We DO NOT have the well informed electorate anymore that is required for democracy to function well. Do you really think that those five big media company’s are not going to try to keep someone running for president that threatens to tax them from getting elected? They have the power and you can count on it!! Now if you had dozens of media company’s competing for the market you might get competing opinions but with so few that competition has gone away.

    We tried the sanction thing against Russia in the late 1970’s when we stopped a big wheat shipment. It didn’t accomplish anything then except to bankrupt a bunch of US farmers and make sure they voted for Reagan in the next election. Sanctions don’t work except to get rid of our customer’s.

  13. Porter Lansing 2019-07-29 11:46

    Clyde …
    ~ Paranoia is thinking someone is “out for you”. It’s a neurosis and treatable.
    ~ Beliefs are choices that have already been made. Beliefs are not facts.
    ~ Two or more newspapers can offer differing opinions on the implications of the news but the news is the same. One paper may have a scoop on different facts but that scoop becomes the next day’s news. News doesn’t differ between valid sources.
    ~ You ask, “Do you really think that those five big media company’s are not going to try to keep someone running for president that threatens to tax them from getting elected?” No. That’s paranoid supposition. The Big five media companies make their money off their reputation for truthfulness and fairness, especially in election coverage.
    ~ Sanctions work. What did the Russian lawyer that met with Don. Jr. want in return for dirt on the Clinton Campaign? What does Iran want? What does N. Korea want? What does Cuba want? Sanctions are the best, peaceful method to retaliate for improprieties.
    ~ I could spend twenty minutes psychoanalyzing your behavior, which surely goes back to the way your Father treated your Mother and you but you’re already scared. On your way, my good man.

  14. Clyde 2019-07-29 15:15

    Porter….I don’t think you are qualified!

    If you don’t think that money influences behavior, I give up!

    All that is needed is to constantly mention Sanders age and the fact that the country wants a moderate to sway public opinion.

  15. Porter Lansing 2019-07-29 16:54

    Well enough qualified to know what causes a fundamental lack of trust in a person’s psyche.
    ~ You’ve given up, alright. Given up rational thought for the negativity bias that’s SD’s pervasive character trait, these days.
    Of course, money matters. Where does CBS News get it’s money? From sponsors to their evening news. When CBS’s (or any network news show’s) honesty is tarnished, sponsors leave and the money goes away. That’s why they’ll do anything to maintain standards. Remember when world famous Dan Rather was fired for screwing up the bosses credibility? Fired on the spot when he said the Geo. W. Bush went AWOL from the National Guard and his sources turned out to be fraudulent. Remember when a young reporter at the NYTimes was making up stories? Fired on the spot.
    You must find solace in imagining dark things that aren’t real. I know the recreation opportunities in SD are slim but crawling into the parts of your brain where only your evil imagination lives is just not reality.

  16. jerry 2019-07-29 17:07

    So then, the russian traitor in the white house has screwed the ag producers, but they seem to enjoy the romp to want it to continue. Mother Russia will come out of this just fine with American farmer support while being subsidized… Taking what their giving cause were not working for a living. What will happen when that welfare state is broken?

    The economy now depends on the selling of cars to people who can’t afford them so they can drive over to their buddies place and watch Netflix. We are not officially, a banana republic. Careful so’s ya don’t step on a peel.

  17. Porter Lansing 2019-07-29 18:20

    Clyde. I don’t open unlabeled video or text links.

  18. mike from iowa 2019-07-29 19:15

    Swine flu detected in hogs at Michigan Fair this past week.

  19. Clyde 2019-07-29 19:17

    Then you wish to remain ignorant, Porter. I labeled it!

  20. Porter Lansing 2019-07-29 19:25

    Yep. Ignorant, yet free of viruses from sites you visit.
    *What does ?v+qNxu8R-GAqg tell me about what that link is? That’s all I see. Tell us what it says.

  21. Clyde 2019-07-30 14:44


    Its a you tube video viewed by thousands from a trusted poster. Don’t think it will injure you…..

    Don’t you pay for an anti-virus service?

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